A Connemara based landowner says enough his enough as his land continues to be frozen for the proposed proposed route options for the R336 between Barna and Rossaveel and onto Scriob, leaving landowners in limbo.
Furbo based landowner Brian Forde says one of the proposed routes passes by the side of his house. He is disgusted this saga is being allowed to linger. "Families' lands have been blighted since the eight possible routes in respect of the R336 were decided upon in 2009,” he says. “ Many of these people have owned their property and land for decades. Now because they are located close to or in the line of one of the proposed routes for the R336, these families have been left with their properties devalued and no control over their own land. They are not entitled to develop their land, give a site to a son or daughter, or sell a site to raise some badly needed income. This is the position in which numerous families in Connemara find themselves.''
Mr Forde fears landowners in the west will be left in a similar situation to those along the proposed old Galway City Outer Bypass Route where 240 landowners had their lands frozen for 15 years - during which time they were unable to sell sites during the economic boom.
The Connemara resident says he wishes to gift a site to both his son and daughter who want to build their own homes, but he is precluded from doing so because of the possibility of the new road being built on his land.
He believes it may be 2020 before the situation is clarified regarding the proposed new bypass in Galway, and this will further delay the decision making process regarding the R336. "One high ranking member of the council remarked recently that no further decisions would be made on the proposed R336 route until planning permission has been granted for the N6 Galway City Transport Project project. After waiting for six years with no entitlement to build on their lands, are the people of Connemara expected to remain in this desperate situation for at least a further six years?"
He cites a court case in Dublin relating to the DART Underground where the judge ruled that the time allowed to serve a notice to treat be reduced from seven years to 18 months. The case highlighted that an appropriate balance must be struck between the right to a reasonable period of time to decide on a strategy for a project and the competing right of the landowners, whose lands have been effectively frozen in the meantime.
Mr Forde wants politicians to be lobbied to bring an end to the situation in Connemara.
"It is high time for the people of Connemara to say to their politicians that enough is enough and instruct them to urge the National Roads Authority and Galway County Council to bring to an end the devastation that is being levied upon people's lives. It is absolutely not acceptable that Connemara people are being prevented from exercising their basic constitutional right to enjoy their property as they see fit.''